Charles Lynch, a medical marijuana provider in the state of California, which has voted consistently to allow what he does, faces a year in federal prison. This after Obama and the new “drug czar” have expressed support for state autonomy in regulating medical marijuana.
LOS ANGELES – June 11 – The Marijuana Policy Project strongly condemned today’s federal sentencing of Charles C. Lynch, a California medical marijuana provider who worked scrupulously to follow state and local laws but now faces one year and one day in federal prison.
“Years from now, Mr. Lynch may well be remembered as the last American to go to federal prison for a mistake, the final victim of an already repudiated policy well on its way to the ash heap of history, but whose mean-spirited effects still linger,” said MPP executive director Rob Kampia. “This sentence is a cruel and pointless miscarriage of justice. Mr. Lynch and his attorneys say they plan to appeal, and we hope they succeed. With federal law enforcement at the Mexican border so overwhelmed that traffickers coming through with up to 500 pounds of marijuana are let go, even one more penny spent persecuting a man who is not a criminal in any rational sense of the word is an outrageous waste of resources.”
In February, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that henceforth the Drug Enforcement Administration would only conduct enforcement actions against medical marijuana defendants who were violating both state and federal law, reversing the Bush administration’s policy of ignoring state medical marijuana laws.
Lynch’s medical marijuana collective was licensed by the city of Morro Bay, and officials routinely inspected the facility to monitor compliance with state and local laws. But because federal law makes no statutory allowance for medical marijuana, all evidence related to California’s medical marijuana law was barred from his trial.
With more than 27,000 members and 100,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. For more information, please visit http://MarijuanaPolicy.org.